Travel

Bali: Island of Gods…of Peace…of Love

Great news, Manila backpackers! Cebu Pacific finally announced its newest international destination! It will be launching a direct service from Manila to Bali (Yeah! It’s Bali) on March 2013. Ay-yay-yay!

Bali is now super duper accessible to us budget travelers. No need to fly through Jakarta or Singapore or Kuala Lumpur which can also be expensive.

Betcha Buy Bali Now!`

Betcha Buy Bali Now!

No, I am not booking for this flight. It may be cheap, but I still ain’t got breads for this. I’m a cheapskate sometimes. Then, why am I so happy? It only means that Manila-Bali flights can already be included in the great P1 (piso) Seat Sale! Now, that would be something I can afford. Who wouldn’t want to visit the Island of Gods with just less than P3,000 airfare budget?

Ayo, teman-teman, mari kita mengalami budaya Bali dwipa jaya. (Come, friends, let us experience the culture of the great Bali island.)

“In Bali, there is no single day without a ceremony — a balanced relationship among humans, gods, and nature.”

 

 

Disclaimer: I suck in speaking Bahasa Indonesia. I used an online English-Indonesian translator and asked my friend if I stated it correctly.

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7th Anniversary Date

Cebu Pacific Seat Sale

Cebu Pacific Seat Sale

I was about to sleep but I decided to check my Facebook first before turning in. This was the first thing I saw. So, I spent the next hour trying to book a flight for the boyfriend. I don’t have a credit card and I still owe my mom and sister my flight back home for December so I was panicking not knowing how I can book. Fortunately, the airline had an over-the-counter payment option. As soon as I decided on the dates, I just guessed boyfriend’s passport number and proceeded with the reservation. I sent him a message after that he should pay the fare at the bank the following morning.

It’s a crazy seat sale. Cebu Pacific can be cunning at times but you can easily forgive them for their super dooper cheap fares and I couldn’t just let it pass. Here’s why…

Itinerary

Itinerary

The base fare is just P1 for one way. I just hate the fuel surcharge but, of course, I couldn’t really complain. It’s still pending and I’m hoping that I would be receiving the confirmed itinerary tomorrow. Yay! He’s bound for Jakarta but we are still deciding whether we will stay in Jakarta then visit Bandung or go back to Bali. I could also bring him to Yogyakarta to see Borobudur and Prambanan. It’s still a long way to go but I can’t help but feel excited. It’s going to be another awesome anniversary! This time, we’ll make sure he won’t get offloaded. Documents will definitely be ready for this. Ay-yay-yay!

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Indonesia in the Blink of an Eye

Want to see all of Indonesia but got money issues? Worry no more! All you need is TMII.

Taman Mini Indonesia Indah has it all for you. I got to travel around Indonesia in the blink of an eye. Check out the places I visited. :p

West Sumatra

West Sumatra

North Sumatra

North Sumatra

West Kalimantan

West Kalimantan

West Sulawesi

West Sulawesi

North Sulawesi

North Sulawesi

Gorontalo,  North Sulawesi

Gorontalo, North Sulawesi

Papua

Papua

Riau Islands

Riau Islands

Bali

Bali

Yogyakarta

Yogyakarta

I am not sure if this ship is the Pinisi or the traditional Indonesian sailing ship. If it is, then this is from South Sulawesi.

We also got to take a rest on some shady parts near the “army” museum.

If going around Taman Mini is too hot for you, there is the Snow Bay to cool off. There are also lots of museum around which you might want to try.

They have a fauna and flora areas and we got to visit the freshwater fishes and the insect museum.

Fishy

Fishy!

Bugs and Butterflies

Bugs and Butterflies

There are three cable line rides available. You get the bird’s-eye view of Indonesia.

Cable Ride

Cable Ride

Taman Mini is like a Nayong Pilipino, waterpark, zoo, botanical garden, museum, and picnic area all rolled in one. The best thing is the price. Entrance fee in TMII is only 9,000 IDR per person and 10,000 IDR for your car. Entrance fee for museums is 5,000 IDR (I think. The one we tried costs 5,000 IDR). The cable ride is 25,000 IDR. The big balloon (not sure if it is a hot-air balloon)-ride is 120,000 IDR.

It was just so big we couldn’t see all in one day. Hopefully, I can visit again soon. 🙂

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The Bali Trip (June 8-11, 2012)

We waited for 6 months for the trip to celebrate our 6th year anniversary. He arrived in Jakarta 2 days after his scheduled arrival due to an unforeseen event. We were just so excited as it was boyfriend’s first out-of-country trip and our first time in the Island of the Gods known as Bali.

The Hotel. We stayed at Best Western Hotel in Kuta Beach. I booked it because of it’s proximity to Kuta beach. The hotel was really clean. Room and bathroom are small but really clean. Food is ok. Price is a bit disappointing (Rp2.000.000++ for 3 nights) as I booked for an ocean-view room (which is a bit pricey than the regular) only to see an inch of the beach. I’d rate it as 7/10.

The Car Rental Service. At Rp400.000 per day, we had the superb service of Pak Oka who brought us around Bali. English-speaking driver/tour guide.

The Itinerary.

Tanah Lot

Tanah Lot

Labhagga

Labhagga in Pacung: Restaurant and Sky Lounge

Ulun Danu

Ulun Danu
Potato Head Beach Club

Potato Head Beach Club

Barong and Keris Dance

Barong and Keris Dance

Celuk Village (Silver and Goldsmith)

Celuk Village (Silver and Goldsmith)

Mas Village (Woodcarvers)

Mas Village (Woodcarvers)

Ubud Monkey Forest

Ubud Monkey Forest

Tohpati Village (Batik-makers)

Tohpati Village (Batik-makers)

Garuda Wisnu Kencana

Garuda Wisnu Kencana

Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu Temple

Kecak and Fire Dance

Kecak and Fire Dance

Jimbaran Bay

Jimbaran Bay

Kuta Beach

Kuta Beach

The Bali Experience

The Bali Experience

We had a very tight schedule for our 3-nights/3-days stay in Bali. We were able to visit lots of places but we know there are still so much so see. We never even tried the water sports and cruises. We will definitely go back. ❤

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Stressed by Immigration

Been on a haitus. I’m finally home.

Graduation went smoothly but the stress came just when I was about to leave the hotel room to pick up hun from the airport.

I have been waiting for the Bali trip since I got the plane tickets. I couldn’t contain my excitement when June 6 came. It was our 6th year anniversary and his scheduled flight to Jakarta. His flight was at 9 in the evening. 30 minutes before I left the hotel, he sent me a text message telling me he was offloaded. DANG! You see, some assistant teachers were at the hotel room as well and we were having a few drinks. I was already feeling a bit buzzy and his news being offloaded threw me over the edge. I was shouting like a madman and scolding him for being so passive.

The immigration officer wouldn’t believe that he’s just on tour. They asked for the copies of reservations and his certificate of employment. And because I was the one who prepared everything, he didn’t have the copies. It was his first time to travel overseas, so he was not also informed that he has to have all these requirements. I didn’t also know. I have been travelling but those were not asked from me.

I asked him to book the next flight but I was crestfallen when I found out that the next flight was Friday at 8:50pm. Our Bali flight was Friday at 7:50pm. It was a good thing that I thought of Singapore. I asked him to go home and furnish a copy of all our reservations and get his COE. He took the cheapest flight to Singapore the next day and I booked him for Singapore-Jakarta with AirAsia.

His hotel reservation in Jakarta was put to waste. I stayed there instead so as not to throw away the Rp. 2,000,000 (about Php 10,000) for the 2-nights. We spent another Php 10,000 for his Manila-Singapore-Jakarta tickets just to catch the flight to Bali.

The most annoying part was the immigration officer who sent him for interview denied that it was him. He said that if it was him, he would most definitely make him go through. Then he asked how much my boyfriend paid for the new booking and said, “Tsk! It could have been pocket money already.”  I didn’t know if it was said sarcastically but it made me want to strangle him.

It was funny that my boyfriend got in so much trouble with the Philippine Immigration but was easily let in by Singapore and Indonesia without having to show the reservations. It made me think that maybe the reason why he was denied boarding was because he bought his ticket through the P1 seat sale. Maybe they had him offloaded for him to buy another ticket if he really wants to push through with his trip. It cost us more that what we intend to spend. I don’t know if this is CebuPacific’s tactic to make more money. But I am definitely writing a letter to make a formal complaint.

P.S.

I’ll be posting the Bali trip soon. 🙂

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ALMOST!

I have finished packing! I only have to wait for hunhun so I can put other stuff to bring home. Weeeeeeeeh! 10 more days and hunhun will be here. 10 more days and it’s Happy 6th for us! I am so ready to go home! I only have less than 2 weeks to clean up everything before Home Sweet Home! So excited to see the fambam!

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Holy Week in Bandung

I still couldn’t believe it happen.

I couldn’t believe it could happen to me. Couldn’t believe it happened in Bandung -a place where I feel much safer compared to Jakarta.

Ate Lan and I went to Bandung last Friday to spend the Holy Week with fellow Filipinos. They usually meet in church and gather after mass for some snacks and chat.

It was a backpacker’s plan. We didn’t intend to spend a lot. We stayed in a kost (like a boarding house) and no plans to go shopping in the factory outlets in Dago.

We arrived at around 12:30. We unpacked and went out to eat lunch then meet some friends. But before we can even decide where to eat, two guys (I’m not even sure if they were both guys) in a motorcycle had my bag. I felt like it was in slow motion but they were about more than a meter when I realized they already have my bag and I screamed.

I screamed then people from the restaurants and stores came out. The nearest security guard and some others tried to run after them, but what can they all do? The snatchers were riding a motorcycle.

They got my bag. In it is a camera, a cellphone, a purse with 1.3 million rupiahs (about 6,000++ pesos) and ATM card, a pair of Coach sunglasses, and make up kit. I would have felt OK if those were only the ones taken. I can earn the money and buy the rest. They were old stuffs anyway and needs to be replaced soon. I could have replaced it already but I was just trying to keep myself buying since they were still usable.

I wanted to cry but I couldn’t. It was already 1:00 p.m. by then, no breakfast, no lunch, but I lost my appetite.

But it was more depressing because that bag was a Louis Vuitton Speedy 35 I got from my mom. That night, I sent them a message asking them to have my Globe number blocked. I told them my phone was snatched. My mom replied telling me to be careful and that I should not use my phone while walking, that I should just keep it in the bag on silent mode.  She didn’t know that it was in the bag. She didn’t know it was the in the LV bag. She didn’t know that it was the bag that was snatched. Now, I don’t know how to tell her.

I couldn’t tell her. I couldn’t because I lost it in Bandung. Because why was I in Bandung when she kept telling me not to always go out of town.

People said that everything happens for a reason. They kept telling me that it aims to tell me something. Is it because I am not supposed to go there? That I’m supposed to be saving and not going anywhere for vacation? I don’t really know. Because for me, I got invited there to spend the Holy Week, to mingle with fellow Filipinos, to celebrate the Holy Week the Filipino way.

We’re back here in Jakarta. We didn’t get to attend the Easter mass anymore. We left last night and arrived past midnight. I couldn’t stay there because I don’t have money. It was all in the bag. I went there on a budget but I returned home bankrupt.

I was thinking, I could have used my other bag. I wouldn’t have felt this bad. It wouldn’t have been stolen in the first place.

But there are lots of things I am still thankful for. Ate Lan and Kuya Luis paid for everything. Fellow Filipinos showed sympathy and concern. Ate Karen, paid for our lunch. Kuya Marcie prepared our breakfast. Ate Almira and friends prepared some snacks. All of them provided nice stories.

I am thankful to my other friends, Indonesians but Filipinos by heart, Kuya Arie and Kuya Gustaf. They are always ready to help. I also got to meet new friends Kuya Reza and Ate Cresny ? (I don’t know how it’s spelled). It made me forget for a while because of all the laugh we had last night.

It was also a blessing that Ate Lan realized she still had my allowance. I was able to have some money for the next day. I also planned to bring my laptop that day but I opted not to because I don’t want to carry something heavy. It could have been worse if I had brought my passport with me. Ate Lan and Kuya Luis brought theirs. It would cause too much hassle if it was one of their bags.

I lost a lot. I don’t even know how to replace all of it before I go home this June. But I am still blessed with a lot of other things. I was not hurt physically. We returned home in one piece. I saw great people around me.

To my friends, Ate Lan, Kuya Luis, Kuya Arie, Kuya Gustaf, thank you. I couldn’t thank you enough.

To my new found friends, Kuya Reza and Ate Cresny, let’s plan the Pinoy cook-out soon.

To my fellow Filipinos in Bandung, Kuya Marcie, Gingr and Ate Pats, Ate Joan, Ate Karen, and everyone else. Thanks for the help and warm welcome. See you again soon.

To the people who tried chasing them, thank you for helping.

To the the lady with child asking for alms, thank you for making me realize I have so much else to be thankful for.

To God, it was definitely a tough test.

Happy Easter, everyone!

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Jogja Weekend

The trip in Jogja was superb. Mainly because it was my first vacation trip since I got here in Indonesia. Going around Jogja was definitely a breath of fresh air after being stuck in Jakarta. I got to relax and forget about the bustling life in Jakarta. Almost everything is better there. Lighter traffic, fresher air, cheaper prices, more culture, and friendlier people.

The people even try their best to speak in English. Here in Jakarta, if you speak in English, never expect a reply or a help at that. I remember asking for a shirt size in the mall, I thought the sales lady was just getting it. I waited then wondered what’s taking her so long. Turns out, she never went to get the size but went to the other side of the store away from me. I thought that living in the metro would make people learn English more because of work.

Bapak Nunung, our driver, was great. We, basically, slept everytime we’re in the car. He drove us into the best places to eat and brought us to our destinations without questions. He always greets us with a smile even if he had to wait long in the parking lot. He even texted us to ask if we have safely arrived in Jakarta and wished to see us all again soon.

I’m definitely bringing Elo and my family there.

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Temple Run: Rato Buku

We were able to go to Candi Rato Buku because of the package we got when we bought the Prambanan tickets. It is located on top of a hill, 3 km. south of Candi Pramnbanan. the drive going there was rocky but nice. It was a rough road surrounded by rice fields. It was not as stunning as Prambanan and Borobudur. Maybe that’s the reason why they include it in the package. Nonetheless, the location was nice. Not for our body though. It was the third and last temple we went to and we really felt beat up from all the walking and climbing.

Image

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Temple Run: Prambanan

Because last Saturday night was very unfortunate that my camera’s battery died on me, we went back to Prambanan to get loads of pictures of the temple. It was picture perfect. We came there after lunch which was a very, very bad time. It was prickly hot on the skin. There were moments when the sun didn’t cooperate with our mere point-and-shoot cameras and made the images dark.

Prambanan Temple

The locals, made our visit more fun. Lots of high school students were there. We thought they came just to visit the temple. We also saw a bunch of students chatting with a French guy (who was kinda cute :p). Ate Lanie and I were making up stories about the foreigners being pedophiles *LOL* and laughing as to why the students were so awed with them. They were laughing so loud at whatever the French guy said and shrieked when they were given a chance to have their photo taken with him. We, eventually, understood what these children were doing when we, ourselves, were approached by one group. It was then Ate Lanie’s turn to be a pedophile *LOL*. Apparently, they were interviewing foreigners to practice conversing in English as a school requirement. But the funniest part was when we were mistaken as actresses from soap operas by a group of girls and asked if they could take pictures with us. I think they believe that people who wear sunglasses are the famous ones. It made us laugh how it can turn your world upside down -from being an ordinary foreigner who basically looks like them to someone who stars in sinetron (soap opera).

Jogja locals in Prambanan with "Sinetron Star". LOL

"Sinetron Star" in Prambanan. LOL

The short lady had her turn to become the pedophile. LOL.

Being a Hindu culture masterpiece, the visit to Prambanan was definitely worth it. The day was so hot that it gave us bad sunburns. Our face, arms and neck are red, hot and itchy but it was all worth it. I will come back soon…maybe for some prenup pictures. LOL.

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